Larson records double-double, volleyball sweeps Loyola


Brian Hayes

Emily Hiebert sets the ball for Abbie Lehman, on Sept. 2, 2016. The Shockers fastpaced play secured the firt set.

Senior outside hitter Jody Larson has been battling an ankle injury all season long. According to Larson, she only plays in limited action during practice in order to be ready for upcoming weekend games.

Larson’s double-double of 12 kills and 12 digs lifted Wichita State over Loyola 3-0 at Charles Koch Arena on Friday night, moving to a 4-1 record in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

“It’s not just about my ankle, it’s about winning for the team,” Larson said. “My adrenaline gets so high that I don’t even notice my ankle. I just don’t think about it.”

A service ace from sophomore outside hitter Tabitha Brown gave WSU an early 8-6 lead in set one. Brown’s block gave the Shockers a 14-10 lead, with WSU totaling for 10 team blocks in three sets.

Junior middle blocker Abbie Lehman scored off a kill later in the set and an attack error from the Ramblers surged the Shockers out to an 18-11 lead. A kill from Brown allowed the Shockers to take set one 25-15, forcing Loyola to hit .176.

“I started getting some more slides and that helped open up more of the middle,” Lehman said. “I got more kills off our fast three ball, and that also helped get me going.”

The Shockers trailed 5-3 at the start of set two, a service ace from junior outside hitter Mikaela Raudsepp and a block from senior middle blocker Katy Dudzinski gave WSU a 6-5 lead. A kill from Dudzinksi extended the Shocker’s lead 15-13, before a Loyola kill and an attack error by WSU tied the set up at 21.

With the score tied at 23 a piece, Lehman was called for a net violation on what would have made it set point for WSU. Instead, momentum shifted in the Rambler’s direction with a 24-23 lead.

“In rally scoring volleyball, you feel like you’re never that far away,” head coach Chris Lamb said. “Volleyball players live that all the time. We’re just used to it.”

WSU bounced back to tie it up at 25 all, eventually taking set two with a kill from Larson and a block from Raudsepp to give the Shockers a 2-0 match lead.

After going back and forth in the third set, junior setter Emily Hiebert gave WSU a 15-14 lead with two consecutive kills. Kills from Larson and Lehman capped off a 7-0 scoring run allowed WSU to take the sweep 25-20.

Lehman scored off 10 kills while hitting .500 in the Shocker’s victory. Raudsepp finished with nine kills and eight digs, with Hiebert coming up with 37 assists and six digs. Brown came up with 10 digs and added six kills with Dudzinski.

The Shockers hit .325 in Friday’s match, scoring off 46 kills and coming up with 43 digs.

“The passers did a nice job tonight,” Lamb said. “We moved a few things as their offense started to defy itself. You saw us roll the dice tonight.”

WSU (11-5, 4-1) will face Bradley at Koch Arena on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. The Shockers finish off their three game home stand with a match against the conference leader, Southern Illinois, on Monday at 7 p.m.